Happy 66th Anniversary Banda San Jose!
January 27, 1950 – 2016
Las Piñas City
Las Piñas, officially the City of Las Piñas (Filipino: Lungsod ng Las Piñas), is a city in the National Capital Region of the Philippines with a population of 552,573 as of the 2010 Census. It is bounded to northeast by the Parañaque; to the southeast by Muntinlupa; to the west and southwest by Bacoor; and to the northwest by the Manila Bay. Half of its land area is residential and the remaining half is used for commercial, industrial and institutional purposes. The present physiography of Las Piñas consists of three zones: Manila Bay, coastal margin and the Guadalupe Plateau.
The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ in St. Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas City, Philippines, is a 19th-century church organ with unique organ pipes; they are made almost entirely of bamboo. It was completed in 1824 by Father Diego Cera, the builder of the town’s stone church and its first resident Catholic parish priest.
After age and numerous disasters had rendered the musical instrument unplayable for a long time, in 1972, the national government and the local community joined together to have the organ shipped to Germany for restoration. For its anticipated return in 1975, the home church of the bamboo organ and the surrounding buildings were restored to their 19th-century state by Architect Francisco Mañosa and partner Ludwig Alvarez in time for its scheduled return. The annual International Bamboo Organ Festival, a music festival of classical music was started to celebrate the music of the reborn instrument and its unique sound.
Since 1992, Prof. Armando Salarza has been the titular organist of the Bamboo Organ. He is also the Artistic Director of the International Bamboo Organ Festival, now the longest-running annual international music festival held in the country.
The organ was declared a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines in 2003. The St. Joseph Parish Church, the church museum at the old convent house, and the famous organ is a popular tourist destination for Filipinos and foreign visitors alike in Las Piñas.
Simbang Gabi (St. Joseph Church)
Simbáng Gabi (Filipino for “Night Mass”) is a devotional nine-day series of Masses practised by Roman Catholics and Aglipayans in the Philippines in anticipation of Christmas and to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. The masses are held daily from December 16 to December 24, and occur at different times ranging from as early as 03:00 to 05:00 PST.On the last day of the Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, the service is instead called Misa de Gallo (Spanish for “Rooster’s Mass”).